Life Style

This Srilankan Makes Paper from Elephant Poop!

paper from Elephant Poop

Thushita Ranasinghe today is a proud owner of Eco Maximus which exports paper to 30 countries across the globe. What’s unique about this is that all the paper that Thushita sells is made of elephant poop!

Why Make Paper from Elephant Poop?

Every year 15 billion trees get cut. 40% of these trees are used for making paper. Deforestation is a serious environmental issue that we are facing today. If the paper can be made from recycled sources such as elephant poop, it can save a huge number of trees from being cut.

What Makes Elephant Poop Suitable for Paper Making?

An adult elephant can eat over 300 pounds of food daily, which comprises vegetables, twigs, grass, and tree bark, all of which are full of fibers. An elephant defecates 16 times a day, which is equivalent to 200 pounds of poop. Just 12 animals can produce 1 ton of poop daily, which can be used as paper pulp.

Incidentally, traditional paper is also made from trees, which is again nothing but fiber.

How is Paper Made from Elephant Poop?

Thushita Ranasinghe started the paper business with just 7 employees. They collected elephant poop from an elephant orphanage. The poop is then boiled at 200°C for one hour to eliminate germs. The boiled dung is then sun-dried.  One-third of boiled elephant poop is mixed with two-thirds of the offcut (leftover papers collected from Colombo and even leftover papers made from elephant poop). These are then processed to make paper. Finally, the raw paper is ironed out to make stationery.


Paper from Elephant Poop is a Win-Win for All

Thushita Ranasinghe’s Eco Maximus has around 80 employees, most of them women. These women who had no work, are gainfully employed today. Since elephants are also gainfully employed in orphanages because of their poop, it gives them a breather of life, which may otherwise be put to rest. Last but not the least, paper from elephant poop is environmentally friendly. An important thing to note…Elephant poop when dried does not smell at all. So, next time when you go to buy stationery, you may ask for paper made from elephant poop!

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